Terse

“And what would you describe as painful?” He asked.

“Knowing that it will never happen. Knowing that.” She replied.

“But then what would you describe as contentment?” He went on, confused.

“Accepting the fact.” She turned away, ending the conversation.

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Marriage Matters

This is so important and needs to be understood by all those Muslims who take the whole marriage affair too narrowly (or rather seriosuly?). From the segregated gender roles of a husband and wife to the basic concept of marriage in Islam, there are a number of minor misunderstandings dotting our culture and values.

A Winter Day In Karachi

An absurd piece originally written on the 15th of January.

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Shops are still sleeping with their shutters wide shut. It is 7:30 am as I speed past these closed shops and abuzz  dhabas with comparatively slower flashes of chai being poured from a big steel saucepan into small, murky, translucent glasses. This is a common site in Karachi at every commercial nook and cranny along side occasional stalls of warm clothes (being sold at very economical rates). Another treat to the eye are dry fruit and seasonal fruit vendors, infrequently lining up the footpaths.

I say ‘slower flashes’ because a rickshaw is still comparatively slower even at its fastest. Yet rickshaws allow a great deal of visual experience from either of its open entrances.

But its a winter morning and its not the usual kind of cold today. It’s not the mild, pleasant, characteristic-of-Karachi cold today (those who have lived here for a while would know what I am talking about). It’s different. Perhaps that is why the rickshaw driver has also taken measures and fastened removable doors at either sides. And although that obstructs my view of the world outside, I couldn’t be more grateful to him for this kind gesture of good will.

The cold today is silent, even merciless. It has forced me to stuff my hands under the long pockets of my woolen jacket as I sit completely wrapped up from head to toe. Its the apathetic kind of cold which discourages people from taking their hands out of their pockets to shake with others. Its the kind of cold which discourages people from stretching their chapped lips from one end to other. Skin around the mouth is too dry and torn and smiling hurts. Its the kind of cold when people avoid shaking hands with and smiling at each other and even though Farees says its nothing in comparison to where she lives (negative degrees of Toronto), it’s still a biting chilling, windy cold. And Farees understands. The kind of cold which would make you rather uncomfortable than cozy with your cup of coffee because the cold wind does not only lance through the nostrils but also blows away the warm vapour rising from the cup like the phantom of cold spirits.

And as I sit here in the rickshaw making mental notes for this write-up, fragmented verses of Rossetti’s ‘Winter-My secret’ are continuously echoing in my head: Today’s a nipping day, a biting day/ whoever shows, his nose, to Russian snows, to be pecked at by every wind that blows. And it feels like Rossetti wrote it for this day (though Karachi has never seen a speck of snowflake), but the poetry pretty much understands my state of mind. Perhaps to get a better idea of what I am saying, you could check out the whole poetry (with analysis) here:

http://www.cieliterature.com/winter-my-secret/

So where was I? Yeah, I basically do not want anyone to be pecking at my nose today. Do not want anyone asking how I feel. What am I up to. Nothing. I want to stay behind a thousand veils and blankets, hidden in the rickshaw for God knows how long, secretly observing the world outside from this battered plastic window in the rear of the rickshaw. Beautiful yet weak golden rays filter through my eye lashes from this translucent window and somehow I feel useless and content at the same time. Its the kind of cold which makes you believe there’s no purpose to life whatsoever but which also assures you that you’ll do just fine sitting in this rickshaw all day long without the need of speaking to a human or smiling to a soul. You can sit here all day with a poker face and peacefully succumb to sleep or death whenever it comes.

Why I write this? To acknowledge the cold. To recognize the power it has had over me, my mood, my behavior. To make me reflect over the coldness that resides within me, and even more strongly, give hints of the warmth that has been hiding in some crannies of my heart. So next time, if you are feeling like a detached, uncommunicative, stolid misanthrope- it’s probably not your fault, it’s probably just the weather.

 

The pictures have definitely not been taken by me and downloaded from google after a rigorous search because the day I wrote this piece on, I could harldy even take my hands out of  the pockets, let alone hold the cold phone to take pictures. However I have carefully selected those which were the closest to what I usually saw on the roads everyday in winter. It has only been an attempt of sharing some of the visual experience of Karachi winters with you guys.

For The Hearts Which Have Forgotten To Break

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So you hate-talk? You execrate that unfaithful heart which betrayed you. You hurl accusations in groups of old friends and homies, at the heart which turned into a stone; seeking for solace in their hushes and on their shoulders, which would be so hard- no-impossible! Impossible to achieve for the many days, perhaps many weeks or many months to come ahead. And a few weeks later when you have rowed half-way through this cumbersome ocean of what people fancy calling ‘moving-on’; you suddenly come across one of their pictures/voice notes or whatever trigger-to-past-memories and you feel this pang in the stomach as if someone just punched you straight in the chest!

That smile on the sinner’s face sets the rowing boat on an automatic backward mode, giving wet eyes and a bout of mauldin self-pity. Miserable! Isn’t it? The intensity of dislike for someone you liked so much one day, ’cause where there was once love, now there’s only hate! I know; I understand; they are really the sourest lemons life has thrown at you. It is the worst phase you have had in your 20 years long of a life.

But what if, just what if- this is not the worst case, what if there’s a case worse than this worst case? No wait, what if you listen to that old song they had sent you but you don’t get a flashback? What if you don’t feel that pang, you had been so well accustomed to, when you see yet another click of their cheesy grin and sparky eyes? What if the person who passed by leaves a faint trail of similar scent that once gave you butterflies and later gave you a bitter-sweet taste on the tongue but now doesn’t even make you shift your nose, let alone producing that uncanny tingle at the bottom of your gut? In fact, what if you actually crash into them in some departmental store, like you had when you first met, but your eyes-not even for once- blink away with that hint of sorrowful grief? What if you suddenly stop relating to all those sad songs? What if getting high on marijuana doesn’t feel like a necessity to get through the day anymore? What if reading their old chats doesn’t make you ruefully smile anymore? What if you sit on the bathroom floor, once again, but this time even after recalling every ounce of pain you have felt, tears never well out of your eyes? What if the moisture doesn’t even brim them? What if you stare at the ceiling fan with insomniac eyes, waiting upon the memories to flood in-in the dark but all what floods in is a huge gush of void and nothingness??

Do you know what’s the worst case?

It’s cold hands on humid nights. It’s a buzzing sheet of emptiness wrapped around your brain, not allowing you to think what trifling task you had to do next after completing this one. Its getting pricked by a thorn and only realizing you got pricked after the first tiny scarlet drops appear on the skin. It’s listening to their name accidentally slip out of one of the friends’ tongues and looking at them with empty hollow eyes as they exchange worried glances with each other. Its swiping through pictures, coming across their’s and swiping on to the next one without even producing a nose exhale from your lungs, which you still manage to do on the lamest of jokes! It’s having them in your dreams and waking up with a poker face. Its feeling the same with or without the marijuana dose of the day. It’s sitting with the pen and paper to spew all the hatred out for the person, as instructed by your counselor/psychologist, but being unable to write a single word. It’s being unable to feel secretly happy on their break-up and sorrowfully injured on their patch up. It’s sitting on the bathroom floor, struggling to cry and shout but becoming horrified by the unnatural stifling force from within. It’s laughing with only your mouth on all the jokes cracked in the group. It’s watching someone cry and move past him/her without a glint of compassion in the eyes!

Do you know what’s the worst case?

It’s a heart sans Sympathy. A heart sans Antipathy. A heart full of Apathy! That’s the worst case. When you are unable to feel hate. Unable to feel love. Unable to feel pain. Unable to feel joy.

When you are unable to Feel! Yeah that’s what happens when you are dead. Already. You don’t even have the suicidal urges anymore!

And I wrote this 800 words long piece of nothing, because I wanted to, I had to. I write this without the fear of whether you’ll read it till the end or leave it mid-way because I honestly do not care if you understand, comprehend or relate with this. I know there are people who would! Even if they sit in the farthest of the corners of the world. They would! My words are not mere words. They are empathy to those who were once capable of feeling but now sit with a paralyzed heart and opaque eyes. I want to tell you guys that I am here and I understand that there’s a case worse than the worst case which this world pays overrated attention to. And I am praying for you that you start feeling again, even if its more of melancholia, hate and pain, I just hope you start feeling again! Ameen.

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So…It was my Birthday

Alright so this keeps on getting harder with every passing day. And currently I feel like losing my writing streak because of staying so much out of practice. This is not even a writer’s block but as the day of aptitude test comes closer on the calendar, I can only manage to not to shut away from blogging altogether. I can’t even believe I have four posts overdue despite having their layouts ready. However, this one, really oughts to get published now.

So this is supposed to be a picture heavy post and I am doing this as a token of thanks and appreciation to my bestie-cum-cousin: Eraj! It is not very often that we are flabbergasted by one of our dear ones and near ones on an occasion which we want to get surprised at, (or at least it has been a very rare occurrence for me) but sometimes fate really has something warm in store for you on a cold November night.

Sooo..7th of November was my big day aka birthday but I really didn’t expect much from this one ecxept some good wishes from my go-went-gone friends whom I left last year as we graduated from high school (A levels) though sadly I didn’t receive any of those either (ab tou aadat si hai aise jeene mein xD) but I am really thankful to them for giving me an amazing bday surprise last year (can you hear me guys?xD)

So I was at my mami’s place on sunday, 6thNov when my mother received a suspicious call she would not give me the details of despite my continuous questions. Later I am told that we would be heading off to our khalas from here since dad has some business with khaloo. A few minutes later I am at my khala’s aka my besties’s place without the slightest of idea of what’s up. And at 12:00 am 7th November 2016 (as shown by my phone) I am summoned into the living room where my father stands with his phone in hand, video mode on and the rest of the fam standing in a circle ready to sing the birthday song with a splendidly scrumptious cake resting pompously in the center of the room.

Okay, yes this is exactly how it hit me, word by word as I put it. What’s more? The cake is home baked (credits to eraj), perfectly customized to my very liking including all those delicacies I love: perks, oreos, chocolate truffles…okay okay I’ll stop xD She gave me the leftover without keeping a single slice for herself. And you can have a glimpse of this red velvet beauty here:

But this was not all. As I walk into her bedroom, devouring upon my piece of bliss, nida aapi (her elder sister) and eraj conjure a handbag out of nowhere. Birthday Presents!!! but I am too red (yes I am blushing vehemently) to even take hold of it. I politely refuse to take it, refuse once again and again because honestly I am not good at handling so much happiness all of a sudden, but they have had it all planned, she has had it all planned weeeks ago! So like there’s no escape outta this surprise! They shove the handbag in my hands. I make sure to unwrap them only the other day! Here’s what they look like:

Tiny silver glittered packages of different shapes and sizes. Cute and dazzling≤3

As I unwrapped the gifts, I found them to be an amusing combination of small accessories I had been wishing for for so long. The smallest package had to offer my most favourite thing: RINGS! This is that one and only jewellery item which I love A LOT!

 

delicate adornments with the right amount of white and gold

Alright I remember musing endlessly on chat about how my golden marker dried up and won’t write anymore, with eraj of course, and this certainly came off as a very pleasant surprise when nida aapi insisted me to open up what she had bought for me. This gold marker is very special to me and since I opened it that very night, I remember how I jumped out of excitement:D

simply gold:)

Eraj is a chocoholic, she is the truest of chocoholics while I tend to be a little particular about my chocolate preferences so yeah she made this perfect choice, not to mention chocolates are a must-give for eraj.

Ferrerossss yass, thankss Erajj!

Alright so this bigger package was really beautiful and I totally loved what was inside!

That beautiful floral art above deep blue glitter!≤3

Alright so this was the complete package from my bestie and her sis nida aapi. Later my brother surprised me by bringing goodies from his canteen and my uncle sent me a huge pack of candies so this birthday turned out to be very different from my expectations. I would specially like to thank Eraj for making my existence worth it. For giving me a reason to smile, for thinking this whole plan out. Thank you nida aapi for supporting her and buying me giftsss. I really love you guys. This whole event gave me a chance to reflect that Allah always balances it out some way. Thank You Allah(‘:

P.S: thanks for bearing with me my kindest readers, I m sorry if this was a bit boring, also I know my pictures are not the best but at least I haven’t contaminated them with any editing.

Women Under The Veil

Beyond The Misconceptions!

auburnrhyme

“A society has no chance of success, if it does not educate its women”

– Khaled Hosseini (A Thousand Splendid Suns)

I’m not a student of politics who can give word perfect reiterations of human rights and state legislations. Nor am I a preacher, who can address every word of God sent down to man without blinking twice. I am merely a spectator in a mass of confusion, a writer aiming to put forward her feeble thoughts, a teenager who knows her rights.

H I J A B, a word that has caused immense misunderstandings over the recent decades, why are Muslim women obliged to wear it? How can any female be oppressed in such a way in the 21st century? When will they let go of such archaic laws and let women be free?

As global media is growing, we are becoming increasingly aware of issues in parts of…

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Self – Help

Being a Psychology student myself and a pursuer of some position in the same field, I considered it not only important but very necessary to reblog this post. Being a Pakistani further intesifies the need to spread posts like these because as the post says itself there is zero to minimal awareness about mental health issues here in Pak. The country gets a lot of life savers each year because of thousands of students aspiring to be doctors, unfortunately the country intensely lacks in ‘life changers’ aka psychologists. I plan to write on the subject myself too, but till then-this needs sharing!

auburnrhyme

Hi,

Before you read on, I would like to make a couple of things clear (in the most non-disclaimer tone possible). What you’re about to read today is a collection of thoughts and feelings collated through the experiences of many lovely individuals who shared their stories with me – in hopes to help somebody else. I am not an expert.

If you’re familiar with my work on Instagram, then you might be aware of the fact that this is not the first time I am writing about mental health, well my reasons for that are because I strongly believe that the lack of attention towards mental health is a global issue that affects most nations – one that has not yet been properly addressed.

We are often under the misconception that mental health is linked to the ageing body and weclass it as an issue that affects the elderly. Well…

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